Starting in April 2016, ACYR will be offering an on-site Men’s Testing clinic at our office every second Tuesday of the month. The clinic will provide rapid HIV testing to gay, bi and queer guys, including trans guys. York Region has a number of sexual health clinics that offer free testing for HIV and other STIs across the region. So why start a men’s clinic at ACYR?
Gay and bi men continue to make up the majority of new cases of HIV. The most up-to-date statistics for our province show 61% of new infections are among men who have sex with men. A key factor in this trend is that many guys who are living with HIV don’t know they are. People who don’t know they have HIV can be more likely to transmit the virus because they have higher viral loads than those who are diagnosed and receiving treatment. Expanding testing helps reduce the number of people who don’t know they’ve living with HIV and connect those folks with treatment sooner.
Setting up a testing clinic at ACYR will provide new and expanded programs in the community. First and foremost, on-site HIV testing will be a great new service we’ll be able to offer folks who regularly access our office. Having testing at our offices also adds another location for testing in our region that may be easier for some guys to get to. We’ll also be able to offer drop-in testing, something not currently available at other clinics in our region
You can connect with me with for queer friendly support!
Lots of guys want more than just testing- they want a chance to connect with someone to talk about other issues they have as gay and bi guys. While I am currently able to connect with guys through our informal counseling and online outreach programs, being able to combine that work with testing can provide more services in one visit. I’m available to talk to guys about sexual health, relationships and dating, substance use, and more.
Greater availability and flexibility in how services are provided, and ensuring services are provided in a supportive environment should make our Men’s Testing Clinic a success in the year to come. Looking forward to seeing you there!
By Jack Mohr
“Have questions? Want to book an appointment? Call or text 647-381-0439, email me at [email protected] or reach me through our online outreach profiles. All messages are confidential.”
Jack is the Men’s Health Promotion Coordinator with the AIDS Committee of York Region